I never thought about what it means to dress in exclamation points until I met Crystal Anderson, Man Repeller’s Operations Manager. I look forward to the moment every weekday morning when I come into the office and catch a glimpse of what she’s wearing. I’ve seen her pull off everything from blue lipstick to head-to-toe camo. More impressively, every outfit has something warm or fun or enthusiastic to say, which explains why I’ve started associating them with exuberant punctuation.
In addition to wearing cool clothes, she’s also doing very cool work in her new role (including jumping right into Hotel Man Repeller planning and execution her first week on the job). Read more about who she is and what she does, and feel free to fangirl over her style in the comments because I’ll already be there doing just that.
What were you doing before joining Man Repeller?
Before landing at Man Repeller, I produced editorial and celebrity collaborations for 29Rooms over at Refinery29. One day, I was perusing the MR site (as one does) and came across the Operations Manager role, knew I had to reach out, and here I am, Repelling with the best of ’em!
How would you describe what you do at Man Repeller?
I always say that nobody tells their parents they want to work in production/operations. It’s one of those career paths where you just sort of scoop up super specific and valuable experience along the way and then one day you look up and there you are, a Jack/Jill of all trades. I mean, I’ve worked at a modeling agency AND a mud run company and everywhere in-between. At Man Repeller, I’ll be producing our larger IRL events, managing and building out our already impressive community events, and I’ll also be working on a ton of exciting internal projects. To say I’m pumped is an understatement.
What’s surprised you most about joining Man Repeller since your first day?
How connected I feel to the community! I’m used to working in a function that has me a few steps removed from actually interacting with readers/community, so to be on the front lines, finding out what our community wants and how to bring that to life, is the most pleasant of surprises.
You have great style. Have you always been into fashion?
ALWAYS! My parents were incredibly open to me expressing myself through my clothing, so nothing was every really off-limits in terms of what I was allowed to wear growing up. I think that openness fostered my love of fashion at an early age. My mom would take me thrifting, so my style always leaned towards the unorthodox. I’m not a poet or a wordsmith, so I truly do express myself best through my style.
Does living in New York influence your style? What about where you’re from or where you grow up?
Ohhhh, without a doubt! I grew up in a small town in South Carolina and being different wasn’t always the most ideal, but most of the time I loved not being like everyone else. When I came to New York for the first time, I knew I’d found my people. I am able to dress in the most absurd garments with technicolor hair and no one bats an eye. I also found people who actually appreciate my style. (Back home, all pearls would be clutched.)
At what point in your life did you really start to come into your own in terms of personal style?
During my time at Howard University, an HBCU. Howard is truly a fashion destination, and homecoming IS A FASHION SHOW, so you really had to be on your A-game. Even now, when I return to campus, I still pull all my flyest pieces, because everyone is expecting you to look DOPE!
What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?
I don’t really think about anything. I just look over into my closet and something will just jump out at me and I’ll build my whole outfit around that. I’m either dressed like a 75-year-old woman or a 16-year-old hypebeast.
What do you like your outfits to say about you?
I like my outfits to be fun and to make people smile. I think my clothing says that I don’t take myself too seriously. I mean, how serious can one be in a head-to-toe camo lewk with matching Crocs?
What’s one garment that never lets you down?
Any of my Supreme hats. I’m growing my hair out and it’s in that god-awful “not cute enough for a bob, but not short enough for a pixie” territory. On days when I just can’t get it to cooperate, I throw on one of my hats. Instant cool.
Where do you look for fashion inspiration?
Oh gosh, literally everywhere: the grocery store, the MR office (duh), old magazines. And I follow an absurd amount of cool teenagers on Instagram. I’m on a one-woman mission to become Luka Sabbat’s old-ish best friend.
What are three things at the top of your current shopping wish list?
1. This pair of Jacquemus mules. I. WILL. HAVE. THEM!
2. The large Supreme x Rimowa luggage. (I’m aself-professed Hypebeast-y asshole, sue me!)
3. This raw denim robe from Sir and Madame in Chicago, a store owned by friend/college classmate, Autumn, and her husband Brian. I’m relatively obsessed with everything they create.
4. Can I add a fourth? I want so many things these days, so only picking three gives me hives! The Off White x Nike Jordan 1s. I’d possibly give my firstborn child for a pair.
Tell me something weird about you.
I meannnnn, there are so many weird things about me. I got Alfred E. Neuman (the kid from MAD Magazine) tattooed on my forearm because my mom wouldn’t let my dad get it, so I got it for him as a Father’s Day gift. He was thrilled. Mom WAS NOT!
Photos by Edith Young.